The 118 has their work cut out for them this week as a hunt for buried treasure drives everyone in LA a little crazy! Let’s jump in.
The episode opens with a father/daughter duo on a nature hike, the girl pointing out various trees as the father trails behind. He catches up to the girl who has found a message in a bottle. Upon opening, it reads “Help, I’m trapped on a cliff! Call 9-1-1.” Of course they do, and Maddie dispatches air fire rescue and the 118 to locate the stuck person. Chimney and Eddie go up in the helicopter with air rescue, and Eddie is lowered down on a rope to assess the man’s injuries. He tends to the man’s broken ankle while the hiker tells Eddie he’s been on the cliffside for five days and hopes he can stay despite the ankle. He even asks if there are willow trees nearby. Assuming the man is delirious, Eddie gets him harnessed, and they are lifted back to the waiting ambulance. The hiker continues to rant about being close to finding a buried treasure and yells about no one else taking it. Back at the firehouse, the team watch the local news where Taylor reports on the recent death of Hollis Harcourt, a famous author who buried $5 million dollars worth of treasure and left behind clues on where to find it for his fans.
Together, the team read the (bad) poem and Buck begins to say it would be exciting, but everyone agrees to go hunting for it would be dangerous and stupid. Bobby points out that the attention the poem is getting will likely mean more odd rescues. The team disperses as Taylor calls Buck and divulges that Harcourt’s assistant confirmed the treasure is real. This prompts Buck to propose they partner up to find it, for the good of the city of course.
Meanwhile at the station, Athena finds several detectives watching the news report and points out they should post officers at Harcourt’s grave as people are likely to try digging there first. She also believes that a treasure is going to send the city into a frenzy, and she’s proven right as “One Way Or Another” plays over a montage of various treasure hunters ending up in sometimes dangerous, sometimes hilarious situations. Athena reports to a scene where hunters are fighting with metal detectors, and the 118 finds a treasure hunter trapped under a bear statue at Griffith Park. At the dispatch office, they cross off Griffith Park on a marker board. Dispatchers have started taking bets on where it could be, and Jamal is now out $20. As Taylor reports from outside the hospital on six hospitalizations, a pregnant woman runs on camera declaring it’s all a hoax. Her husband was almost killed, and people need to stop. The 118 arrive to find a man trying to dig right on a gas line, and they narrowly find cover before the huge explosion.
Eddie and Buck clean the firetruck together when Eddie points out all their cases are individuals. Buck says people are greedy, and Eddie thinks two are better than one and asks if Buck wants to treasure hunt with him. Of course Buck has to divulge that he’s already agreed to hunt with Taylor, which leads them to a meeting at Buck’s where Taylor says Buck has to give Eddie half of his cut, because she won’t split it three ways. She already promised half of her cut to her cameraman. Agreeing to the four way split, they pour over a map with pins of possible locations. They need to narrow it down. At the firehouse, Eddie and Buck make small talk with the new probie, Ravi, to get additional locations out of him and narrow down their search. Hen and Chimney see the alliance and form one of their own to out hunt Buck and Eddie.
Josh crosses off the Observatory from the dispatch board when a call comes in to rule out that option. Linda had her bet on it because of Harcourt’s fifth book, Stabbed Beneath the Stars. The 118 respond to another odd call where a man is being attacked by a colony of ants. They use the water hose to spray them off and treat his reaction to the bites. In the ambulance, Hen and Chimney interrogate the guy to find out why he chose to dig there.
Athena arrives home to find Bobby “making breakfast.” As she rounds the corner commenting she’s tired of the treasure hunting fools, he’s coming back inside. She finds a huge whiteboard of clues; Bobby has treasure fever too. Bobby gives Athena the full presentation of his ideas, and she asks why he’s suddenly into this. He says he wanted to get trust funds for the kids and maybe buy a new house but promises he won’t do anything reckless to find it. He thought they might like to retire, but that’s not in Athena’s plans. She won’t retire until she’s forced, she tells Bobby.
A girl, Keisha, checks herself and her boyfriend, Richie, into River’s Edge Cabins, another clue. She tells the worker she thinks this might be the weekend (i.e., a proposal is on the way). He congratulates her, and the couple head out to dig without the man knowing. While Richie digs, Keisha talks about them calling “the schemes” quits if they find the money. He pays her no mind, but then the owner starts to yell at them to quit digging up the ground. Richie hands her the shovel and tells her to keep going, but as he walks away the ground gives in and Keisha falls into the hole. The 118 arrive to discover she’s fallen into the septic tank, and she’s in danger from the gases. Buck repels in to save her and has to be dropped in quickly when she falls and almost drowns in the sewage. In the ambulance, Keisha tells Richie she’s ready to marry him, she doesn’t need the money or the adventures. He informs her she has been his adventure, he’s already married. She kicks him out of the ambulance.
Athena arrives at Harcourt’s (the dead author) home. The alarm has reported a break-in, and Harcourt’s assistant, Jeremiah, is also on the scene but says he didn’t go in. Inside Athena slowly clears the home until she finds the one and only Hollis Harcourt very much alive in his own home. Jeremiah storms in and is furious that Harcourt faked his death and also left him out of the will. He storms out. Athena threatens to arrest Harcourt, but he points out he didn’t do anything illegal. He merely told his publicist to release a statement. This has all been an elaborate plan to help him buy some time until his next book deadline and to help him find inspiration for the story that’s causing serious writer’s block, Gutted in Glendale. He asks her not to tell anyone he’s alive, but she says if she happens to run into some curious reporters, she’s going to tell the truth.
At the station, the crew discuss the new revelation that it was all a ruse. “Every emergency on the news was another chapter for his book,” says Bobby. He believes Harcourt never buried any treasure, he just said so to get his research.
Taylor and Buck commiserate over getting duped with a drink. Buck points out that it was like a big adventure for them, and Taylor says they were so close. Buck agrees but he’s not talking about the treasure. Taylor calls Harcourt lazy but says that’s unfair, he did jog. Meanwhile Bobby is taking down his treasure hunt board as Athena reads the poem. As she’s reading it, a look crosses her face, and she tells Bobby she knows where the treasure is.
Bobby and Athena go to Glendale Narrows where Athena believes the treasure is. As she explains the various clues, Hen and Chimney show up with med kits, and Buck and Eddie also appear. They each figure it out in their own way: Athena because of the upcoming novel title, Buck because of Taylor’s comment about Harcourt jogging, and Hen? Karen wrote an algorithm. They agree to split the treasure between them and deduce it must be on one of the islands. As they look over the bridge at the islands, they spot none other than the probie, Ravi, already digging it up. He hauls it up, opens the truck, and reveals nothing. It’s already gone. Angry, the whole team drives to Harcourt’s house only to discover the gates open and front door ajar. Athena goes in alone, being the only one with a badge and gun, and finds smashed glass in the front hall. Further in, she finds Harcourt’s lifeless body.
Taylor’s back at it to report his real death this time, as the team is lined up out front and interrogated by Romero. As they watch the security footage, they see a delivery driver arrive before Harcourt’s death, only she’s heavily pregnant and not in an official vehicle. In fact, Athena recognizes her from the news report; she’s the one who ran in screaming that her husband was almost killed.
In an interrogation room, she tells Romero the whole story. She went to Harcourt’s place to confront him, because her husband was injured trying to find the treasure for their baby and now he can’t work. She wants him to make it right, but he tells her too bad and tries to push her out. She shoves him into a table and a vase shatters which makes Harcourt angry. She continues to smash vases until Harcourt clutches his chest and falls to the ground with 9-1-1 already on the line. She picked up the phone as she watched him die but didn’t say anything to the dispatcher. She dropped the phone and left. Outside, Romero and Athena discuss that she technically didn’t do anything wrong, she just watched him die.
The next morning at Bobby and Athena’s, everyone (including Taylor) talk about what happened to the money. Eddie and Bobby think it was always an empty chest. Taylor however says the assistant said he saw the treasure with his own eyes, so he must have been in on it. Athena says Jeremiah was just as shocked as she was when they discovered Harcourt and then pieces together that he was furious about being left out of the will and he must have been the one to bury it in the first place. He went back for the treasure and left for the Maldives yesterday.
Outside, Taylor tries to pitch a follow up to her network, but she tells Buck they think no treasure is a better story. Buck hints that he thinks they make a great team even though they didn’t find the treasure. Taylor answers, “It was fun. I’m glad we’re friends,” putting an end to any hints of a deeper relationship between the two.
9-1-1 airs Mondays on FOX at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.